Sorry I have been away from the blog for a few days. Things have been busy in the parish–busy good with detailed design drawings for the new church completed this week. I also had an invitation to Rome later this month for a conference on Evangelization in the Media, so I’ve had to get that trip ready. Busy at home and school too.

Here is my latest article for National Catholic Register commenting on Pope Francis’ criticisms of both Trendies and Traddies in Evangelii Gaudium. It has received some typical comments from traditionalists. One of them asks how long I have been a Freemason…

What I have not been able to understand is how traditionalists are not able to distinguish between traditionalist and radical traditionalists. My criticisms of radical traditionalists is of the strain of anti-semitism, racism, and general ignorant nastiness some of them exhibit. Time and again I will say that the traditionanalist Catholic movement is a good thing and most of them are good Catholic folks. Then I began to realize that the ones who complain about my criticism must be the very radical traditionalists that I have criticized. What is alarming is how few of the traditionalists who I would consider mainstream disavow the radical trads.

Ah well, here’s part of the article:

If Pope Francis criticizes the “trendies” for their subjective worldliness, he also criticizes the “traddies” with some astoundingly erudite nomenclature. He says, “The other [form of spiritual worldliness] is the self-absorbed promethean neo-pelagianism of those who ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past. A supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline leads instead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby, instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others, and instead of opening the door to grace, one exhausts his or her energies in inspecting and verifying.”

What on earth is “promethean neo-pelagianism”? Prometheus was the Greek god who, by individual genius and effort, raised humanity by stealing fire. The translators have chosen this word to express the Pope’s vision of self-absorbed Catholics who thinks they know it all and have it all worked out. And Pelagius was the heretic who taught that humans could earn their own salvation.

We can’t help but see radical traditionalists as the Pope’s target. He pinpoints their “supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline” and their intransigent allegiance to traditional worship. He also dashes their judgmental attitudes that end up as a “narcissistic and authoritarian elitism” and assesses their self-defined and determined form of Catholicism as neo-pelagianism.

Read the whole thing here: